Liver Transplant

San Diego's first liver transplant program

A trio of liver transplant surgeons in white coats stand proud at a Scripps Hospital.

Drs. Jonathan Fisher, Christopher Marsh and Randolph Schaffer, Scripps Center for Organ and Cell Transplantation, Scripps Clinic

San Diego's first liver transplant program

Scripps established San Diego’s first liver transplant program in 1990. Today, the transplant program at Scripps performs lifesaving liver transplants for people in Southern California and beyond.

Expert care for liver transplants

The liver transplant surgeons at Scripps are among the most experienced in the region, providing the highest-quality, most advanced care possible with liver transplant success rates above the US expected average. Our team of transplant surgeons and specialists provides compassionate care to adults with:

  • Acute and chronic liver failure
  • Liver cancer, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma
  • Cirrhosis
  • Chronic liver disease such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, fatty liver, autoimmune and other genetic liver diseases
  • Severe acute alcoholic hepatitis
  • Biliary stricture 
  • Portal hypertension
  • Complex liver, gallbladder and bile duct disorders

Scripps also offers sophisticated ultrasound technology for early detection and treatment of fibrosis.

Understanding your liver transplant

Your liver performs hundreds of functions each day to help detoxify your blood, aid in digestion and absorb nutrients. When liver diseases — such as chronic liver failure, liver cancer, cirrhosis or hepatitis C — damage the liver, a liver transplant could be a treatment option if you meet medical liver transplant criteria.

A liver transplant is a complex procedure. It involves replacing a damaged lobe (part) of your liver or your entire liver with one from a donor. To determine if a liver transplant will be a safe and beneficial treatment option for your acute liver disease, you must first:

  • Receive health insurance clearance
  • Meet with a transplant coordinator
  • Attend a transplant education class
  • Complete all necessary blood and other laboratory tests
  • Undergo a thorough medical evaluation

Once this process is completed, if you qualify for a liver transplant, you’ll be placed on the local and national liver transplant surgery waiting list. For more information on what to expect, review the liver transplant FAQs below.

Frequently asked questions about liver transplantation

If you need a liver transplant, you may have many questions about the procedure and what to expect. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about liver transplantation. Always feel free to ask your physician or care team for more information and guidance.

Our approach to transplants

At Scripps, we treat the person, not the illness. Our patient-centered approach combines a multidisciplinary team with the most advanced treatments and technology available in San Diego and beyond.

Support groups for transplant patients and caregivers

Our program provides free, monthly support groups for organ transplant patients and their families. The groups are designed to share coping strategies, express frustrations and concerns, as well as share hope and support.

Patient support and resources

Scripps offers a wide range of supportive services to meet the specialized needs of transplant patients and their loved ones, including support groups and educational classes. Learn more about the support and resources you have access to at Scripps. Our inspirational transplant patient success stories are another great resource to learn more about the supportive, life-affirming aspects of Scripps transplant services and care.